The adventure on Skypeia, the floating island, comes to an exciting end in One Piece Season Three Voyage Four. With most of the crew either out of action or captured by Eneru, it's up to Monkey D. Luffy to combat the villain. The only problem is that Eneru is a god, and a powerful one at that. Of course nothing as simple as a god is going to stop Luffy from saving his friends, and aiding the people of Skypiea who were nice to him. It's an epic battle as the rubber boy matches off against a lightning god, one who has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
I'll skip the basic recap, if you're not sure who Luffy and his companions are, check out my reviews of the earlier sets.
Things are looking bleak for the straw hats as this collection starts. Most of the crew has been knocked out of commission by either Eneru or one of his captains and he's taken Nami captive. Usopp and Sanji try to rescue their navigator, but Eneru makes quick work of them with his powerful lightning attacks.
Eneru also reveals his ultimate plan at long last. He's going to use the flying ship he's designed, powered by his electricity, and destroy all of Skypiea. Naming the ship Deathpiea he starts his attack on the defenseless island while the inhabitants flee in terror. There's one thing the mad god didn't count on however, and that's Monkey D. Luffy. The leader of the Straw Hat Pirates manages to get aboard Deathpiea and challenges Eneru. Being made of rubber, Luffy is immune to Eneru's lighting attacks, much to the villain's chagrin, but lightning isn't the only thing that electricity can create. It can also generate heat, and when Eneru uses that ability to melt a part of the solid gold hull of Deathpiea Luffy falls for into the trap. He punches the liquid gold ball that's about six feet in diameter which then solidifies around his hand. It's pretty hard to fight with a giant gold ball weighing you down, but that doesn't stop Luffy (as a matter of fact, nothing really does.)
The Skypeia storyline has been a lot of fun, and this collection is no exception. While it doesn't have the emotional impact that the Alabasta saga does, it makes up for that with a quicker pace and a lot of unique and fanciful villains. This story is filled with wacky, far-out ideas and the way Skypiea works is right up there with the best of them. Strange, unpredictable, creative, and bizarre, this next port of call for the Straw Hats is going to be another unique experience for the group.
The adventure also wraps up in a very satisfying way. The final two episodes are a lot of fun, especially the quick getaway that the pirates make when they leave. I especially enjoyed the misunderstanding with the natives and the manner in which they manage to get back down to the
As I mention in every review of this series, this is the uncut version of the show. Though it is aimed at kids, there is some swearing. People called "ass" and "son of a bitch", but nothing worse than that. People do get killed too, and when blood is spilled it's red. The show isn't very bloody though, and I had no problems letting my 6th grader watch it.
This set contains the next 13 episodes (183-195) on two DVDs, each in its own thinpak case. The two cases are held in a nice slipcase.
This set offers the original Japanese track in stereo as well as an English dub in either stereo or 5.1. While the 5.1 dub was nice during the battle scenes, I preferred the original language track. The voices just seemed to fit characters better and made for a more enjoyable viewing experience. The English voice actors did do a good job however and people who like watching in English shouldn't be disappointed.
The full frame video looked pretty good overall. The colors were bright and solid and the blacks were nice and inky. The image was generally sharp too. The only real problem was a more than average amount of aliasing. Diagonal lines are often jagged and when the camera pans across a scene, fine lines tend to shimmer a bit. There's also a bit of cross colorization, but it wasn't distracting.
Like the other volumes in this series, I was a little disappointed that the bonus items were so meager. There's a "Marathon Play" option, which lets you watch the show without the opening and closing credits, which is really cool. I wish more anime would offer something like this. Unfortunately the only other bonus items are clean animations and a series of trailers.
So far One Piece hasn't disappointed. After nearly 200 episodes (this collection ends with episode 195) the show is still creative, absurd, and immensely enjoyable. They managed to wrap up the latest adventure in a nice neat package while leaving things open for the next sure-to-be-amazing saga. This is a fun and exciting collection that comes Highly Recommended.